During the long and boring winter months, we want the summer to arrive. We dream about changing our thick coats and gloves for light shorts and flip-flops, we miss sailing and enjoy our well-deserved vacations. In some latitudes more than in others, too much sun can be dangerous for both, for people and for the boat. Either the effect of radiation and an excessive heat are a problem that we must anticipate.
To prevent their evil effects, we must protect skin and eyes. It is needed to use plenty of good sunscreen lotion. It is also convenient to use a t-shirt or a polo when the hours of maximum irradiation, and if possible to be long sleeve and anti UV fabric. The visors so fashionable in the ’80s do not protect our head. Hats protect also more than caps because they have brimmed around the entire head while the caps only in the front. You do not need a huge Mexican mariachi hat, but one light with cord to hold it and avoid losing it could be perfect. The sunglasses are essential. Ensure that the degree of UV protection is Level 4 to be safer. Choose the model based on the protection offered by its size and shape, leaving aspect in secondary role.
In the beautiful island of Menorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), the old farmers say “The best of the sun is the shadow.” A wise advice for the hot months that we have to apply on our boat. Talking about awnings could be an endless story, but let’s summarize it. While sailing there is the option of a Bimini that protects the area of the helmsman, but in regular short voyages of up to 15 miles you can navigate without the mainsail and only with the genoa or gennaker, with the awning deck that we use when the boat is anchoring or in a moored placed. It will take a little longer, but life on board is greatly improved and you have also saved a little time to dismantle the awning to start sailing and reinstall it when we reach the new anchorage or port. At night the awning is also important because it prevents that humidity wets not just the cockpit and deck but also inside the boat. Less humidity supposes less warm feeling… and fewer insects.
And finally, there is plenty to hydrate. The most effective beverages to hydrate are water and isotonic drinks. In addition, the 2 or 3 liters of liquid that we must drink during a warm day cannot be alcoholic drinks. Alcoholic drinks dehydrate and also are dangerous while sailing.